This historic film shows a portion of the Kitchen Debate. The Kitchen Debate was a series of impromptu exchanges (through interpreters) between then U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev at the opening of the American National Exhibition at Sokolniki Park in Moscow on July 24, 1959. For the exhibition, an entire house was built that the American exhibitors claimed anyone in America could afford. It was filled with labor-saving and recreational devices meant to represent the fruits of the capitalist American consumer market. The debate was recorded on color videotape and Nixon made reference to this fact; it was subsequently rebroadcast in both countries.
In the US, three major television networks broadcast the kitchen debate on July 25. The Soviets subsequently protested, as Nixon and Khrushchev had agreed that the debate should be broadcast simultaneously in America and the Soviet Union, with the Soviets threatening to withhold the tape until they were ready to broadcast. The American networks, however, had felt that delay would cause the news to lose its immediacy. Two days later, on July 27, the debate was broadcast on Moscow television, albeit late at night and with Nixon's remarks only partially translated.
American reaction was initially mixed, with The New York Times calling it "an exchange that emphasized the gulf between east and west but had little bearing on the substantive issue" and portrayed it as a political stunt. The newspaper also declared that public opinion seemed divided after the debates. On the other hand, Time, also covering the exhibition, praised Nixon, saying he "managed in a unique way to personify a national character proud of peaceful accomplishment, sure of its way of life, confident of its power under threat."
Because of the informal nature of the exchange, Nixon gained popularity, improving upon the lukewarm reception he previously had with the U.S. public. He also impressed Mr. Khrushchev. Said reporter William Safire, present at the confrontation:
The shrewd Khrushchev came away from his personal duel of words with Nixon persuaded that the advocate of capitalism was not just tough-minded but strong-willed.
Khrushchev claimed that following his confrontation with Nixon he did all he could to bring about Nixon's defeat in his 1960 presidential campaign. The trip raised Nixon's profile as a public statesman, greatly improving his chances for receiving the Republican presidential nomination the following year.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com